Two-Sport Star Markridge Thriving On Gridiron, Diamond

Sandra Day O’Connor baseball is among the elite high school programs in Arizona. The team sits at 23-4, and the Eagles are gearing up for a playoff push.

Setting the table for the high-powered offense is Bailin Markridge. The Cal Poly commit is hitting .430 on the year and leads the team with 10 stolen bases. Though being the motor of an offense isn’t anything new for Markridge. The senior was also the quarterback for the O’Connor football team, where the Eagles posted a 7-5 record.

“He’s ready for the challenge. There is not a lot he hasn’t seen between football and baseball for two years now,” O’Connor head baseball coach Jeff Baumgartner said. “There’s not a lot of situations he hasn’t seen or been able to overcome.”

The accomplishment pile up on both fields for Markridge, but the source of that success comes from his competitiveness. He said the one player in the NFL he sees similarities in himself is Kirk Cousins because of they share a competitive fire.

Does he see comparisons to anyone on the baseball field?

“Not yet. Hopefully I’m still trying to make myself who I want to be as a baseball player,” Markridge said. “So these next few years at Cal Poly will help me develop into a player that maybe we see (at the next level).”

The senior outfielder has proven he is among the best in the state, and he thinks playing in baseball-centric Arizona will help him at the next level.

“It’s going to help me tremendously by seeing the best talent I could for three years,” Markridge said. “Knowing that (college players) are going to be better, but I will have the mindset that I’ve faced some pretty good kids so I will be able to compete.”

And according to Coach Baumgartner, Markridge is just getting started.

“He’s got some raw tools where he is going to go to college, and he is going to gain 20 pounds in the weight room, at the dinner table. He’s going to be at a school where they push you,” Baumgartner said. “He is going to have some young guys with him that he will compete with., and I think he will rise to that challenge.

I think he will be a fantastic college player, and I think he has a shot to play beyond college baseball.”

But for now, Markridge is making fully focused on winning a state title and providing leadership to his younger teammates.

“I’m trying to instill in their brain it’s not how you do it, it’s the attitude you have when you do it. It doesn’t matter if you strike out three times or hit three home runs, flush the bad stuff and focus on the good stuff and you’ll be fine.”